Category Archives: Events

Congratulations to Spirit of Literacy Award Winners

The Friends honored the 2020 and 2021 Spirit of Literacy Award recipients at a breakfast at Civic Center Library on November 5.

Spirit of Literacy Award honorees

This year’s event honored two years of winners because the 2020 breakfast had to be postponed due to COVID-19. All honorees were selected by the Friends Board of Directors.

The 2021 recipients included Jim & Sandy Bruner, Christine & Rick Kovach, Teresa Kim Hayes-Quale, and Karen Yamasaki. The 2020 recipients were Lois McFarland, David & Diana Smith, and the Silverman Family Foundation.

Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega presented the seven awards, and historian (and former Friends Board President and Spirit of Literacy Award winner) Joan Fudala wrote up introductions highlighting their candidacies.

The honorees included three former City Councilmen, three former Library Board members, and three Scottsdale Leadership graduates. All have been loyal advocates and fundraisers for Scottsdale Public Library.

The Spirit of Literacy Awards were first awarded in 2002, and have recognized individuals, foundations, and corporations who support libraries and literacy in Scottsdale. For a full list of previous winners, visit this page.

Author Jenn McKinlay Entertains Friends Members

The latest “Airtime With an Author” event welcomed New York Times best-selling author Jenn McKinlay to the patio at Appaloosa Library on Tuesday, November 2.

McKinlay is the author of 49 books, specializing in mystery and romance novels. She is based in Phoenix.

She previously worked part time at Phoenix Public Library while pursuing her dream of becoming an author, and met her husband while both were library employees.

McKinlay discussed how she got started as an author, providing funny stories about her experiences working with editors. She explained ongoing challenges in the writing industry, and documented key family events that coincided with career milestones.

The event offered limited capacity, was outside, and practiced social distancing to ensure member safety. McKinlay also signed copies of her books.

“Airtime With an Author” events are one of the many perks of becoming a Friends member, and are held several times per year.

Enjoy a Free Concert for Library Cardholders on November 12

The Friends of Scottsdale Public Library is sponsoring a night of music and fun featuring 80’s music band Rock Lobster on Friday, November 12 at 5:30pm.

Scottsdale Stadium (7408 E Osborn Road) will host this free event that is exclusive to Scottsdale Public Library (SPL) cardholders of all ages, as a celebration of the Library Card Campaign running through November 30. SPL has set a goal of 2,000 new card sign-ups.

Doors will open at 5:30pm, with the concert beginning at 6:30pm. Attendees can park at Civic Center Library next door, and they’ll need to show a library card to enter.

There’s no RSVP required to attend, so just stop by on November 12. You can bring chairs and blankets, and there will be food and drinks available to purchase.

Be sure to stop by the Friends table at the event, as we’ll be raising awareness of the Friends and signing up new members. It’s a great way to show your love for the library.

Art & Literature Scavenger Hunt Set for October 14

Friends of the Scottsdale Public Library is partnering with the Scottsdale Gallery Association on the “Clue: Art + Literature Trivia Scavenger Hunt” featuring clues about well-known artists on Thursday, October 14.

This event is part of the Gold Palette ArtWalk series, monthly themed events taking place in the Arts district of Old Town Scottsdale as part of the Thursday ArtWalk. From 6:30pm to 9pm, guests can walk down Main Street and see trivia questions about artists and their relation to Arizona. They can then enter the 20 participating galleries for answers to the questions.

The goal of the scavenger hunt is to intrigue and entice art enthusiasts to learn while they enjoy world-class artwork.

Friends will also have a table at the Casa des Artistes Plaza (Main Street and Marshall Way) where guests can sign up for free Scottsdale Public Library cards, purchase used books, and spin the prize wheel.

There is no cost to participate in this event, or any of the other Gold Palette ArtWalk events in Scottsdale.

Restaurant Fundraisers Set for August 17 and September 21

The Friends of Scottsdale Public Library is partnering with local restaurants Macayo’s Mexican Restaurant and Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill on percentage nights during August and September.

The first event will take place on Tuesday, August 17 at the Macayo’s at Pima Crossing (8608 East Shea Blvd). If you dine in and bring the Friends’ flyer, Macayo’s will donate 20 percent of your check to the Friends.

The second event will occur on Tuesday, September 21 at the Ling and Louie’s at The Shops at 9400 (9397 East Shea Blvd). This promotion will feature a 15 percent donation for checks where the Friends flyer is presented, but is also eligible for take-out orders.

So mark your calendars now for a night out with friends and family to benefit the Scottsdale Public Library. We are trying to plan more of these restaurant fundraisers in the future, so stay tuned for more details.

Third “Airtime With an Author” Event Welcomes Donis Casey

Local author Donis Casey was the latest local author to entertain Friends of the Scottsdale Public Library members with an hour long talk about her mystery novels on Friday, May 7 at Arabian Library.

Conis Casey
Author Donis Casey signs copies of her book for Friends members

The event was held outdoors on the patio with limited attendance due to COVID-19, and Casey spoke about how she got started writing, why she chose the mystery genre, and how she develops her characters across a series of novels.

Her Alafair Tucker mysteries feature a woman (Tucker) with 10 children, and each book in the series spotlights one of the children in the middle of the mystery. While most are set in 1910s Oklahoma, The Wrong Hill to Die On takes place in Arizona. Each book in the series also features recipes at the end related to the novel’s topic.

“It’s very hard to fool mystery readers, because if you read a lot of mysteries they know all your tricks,” Casey told the crowd. “That’s the fun of being a mystery writer is you have to try to fool the reader with a misdirect or a surprise.”

Casey also discussed her newest series, the Bianca Dangerous Hollywood mysteries. Her latest novel in this series, Valentino Will Die, came out earlier this year.

Due to summer weather, our next “Airtime with an Author” event won’t take place until the fall. These events are exclusive to Friends members, so be sure to join today so you don’t miss out on great local author presentations.

Anne A. Wilson Shares Writing Journey with Friends Members

The second “Airtime with an Author” event welcomed Phoenix native Anne A. Wilson to address Friends members at Appaloosa Library on February 24.

Anne A. Wilson

Author Anne A. Wilson speaks with Friends members about her novel “Hover”

Wilson is an adventure fiction writer that gained inspiration from her time as a helicopter pilot for the US Navy.

Her hour long talk offered a unique perspective in that when she was a cadet at the US Naval Academy, it was less than 10 percent female.

Growing up with a math and science background, she maintained a journal during her time in the Navy that helped hone her writing skills and provide background research.

Anne’s two novels, Hover and Clear to Lift, both feature female protagonists that are Navy helicopter pilots. While the two books are unrelated, she is open to the idea of developing a series.

In addition to providing a background of her writing process and how she got started (see video below), Anne entertained the crowd with tales of her most notable rescues, including during the 1997 Lake Tahoe Basin flood.

“Airtime with an Author” events are exclusive to Friends members and hosted several times each year. Due to COVID-19, these events have thus far limited attendance to 15 people with mandatory mask wearing and an outdoor setting.

In November 2020, the Friends welcomed Scottsdale’s Karen Odden for the inaugural session. Stay tuned for details regarding the next Airtime with an Author event.

Author Karen Odden Entertains Friends Members at Exclusive Event

Karen Odden

Author Karen Odden addresses Friends members

The Friends welcomed best-selling mystery author Karen Odden to speak with a limited audience of Friends members at Appaloosa Library on Wednesday, November 18.

This event begins a recurring series called “Airtime with an Author,” where Friends members are treated to intimate conversations with authors.

Odden, a Scottsdale resident, spoke to the audience about her adventures in writing Victorian mysteries. This includes her most recent release, A Trace of Deceit.

Odden spoke for an hour about her experience as a mystery writer, her love of the Victorian era, and her passion for character development. She also autographed copies of her books.

Odden’s first book, the USA Today Bestseller A Lady in the Smoke, won the 2017 New Mexico-Arizona award for eBook Fiction. Her second book, A Dangerous Duet, won the New Mexico-Arizona book award for Historical Fiction in 2019.

Odden Book Signing

Author Karen Odden autographs books for Friends members

The Friends encountered difficulty staging events this year due to COVID-19. As a result, this event had attendance restricted to 15 people, mandatory mask wearing, and an outdoor setting on the patio at Appaloosa.

We look forward to hosting future “Airtime with an Author” events in the coming months. If you’d like to participate (and receive other benefits), you’ll need to become a member of the Friends.

Friends Hosts Booth at Ultimate Play Date

Ultimate Play Date Booth

The Friends booth at Ultimate Play Date

It was a day of fun and learning as the Friends once again supported Scottsdale Public Library’s Ultimate Play Date on Saturday, December 7 at Civic Center Library.

In addition to sponsoring the face painting exhibit, the Friends featured a booth with a prize wheel. Children could win bookmarks, pencils, and candy.

The Play Date was filled with free educational and entertainment activities for children, including exhibits focused on science, music, and language. This annual event typically occurs during the spring, but was pushed to December this year due to construction on Scottsdale Mall.

The Friends also solicited donations for our 2020 fundraising project, expansion of the children’s story time room at Civic Center Library. If you’d like to help with this effort, please consider a tax-deductible donation.

Come Learn the History of Scottsdale Sports on Thursday, September 12

The Scottsdale Public Library has announced its next free salon series events celebrating the history of sports in Scottsdale on Thursday, September 12 at 6pm.

Historian Joan Fudala will present pictures and stories covering Scottsdale’s many ventures into sports, including Spring Training, golf events, and high school sports.

Back by popular demand, additional salon series events will soon be announced to cover numerous historical topics. They are led by Fudala and Doug Sydnor, former members of the Friends of the Scottsdale Public Library Board, in conjunction with the Scottsdale Heritage Connection (SHC).

The salon series originally began in February 2018, with continuations in fall 2018 and spring 2019. While they have traditionally rotated throughout Scottsdale Library branches, the hope is that they will soon be housed within the SHC space, scheduled to open to the public this fall.